No. 11 Men's Tennis Drops Tight Match to No. 3 Tennessee 4-2
March 11, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 11 University of Kentucky men’s tennis team won the doubles point but could not continue its momentum into singles action, falling to the third-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in its Southeastern Conference home opener 4-2 at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex on Friday.
“We are really disappointed in this loss because we were in good position to win,” UK head coach Dennis Emery said. “We just didn’t close out this match today and that is something we have done really well all year. Tennessee is a great team and they did well to fight their way out of some problems that we created for them.”
Kentucky (13-4, 2-1 SEC) was impressive in doubles play, winning the doubles point for the ninth time this season, including all three SEC matches. The Wildcats are now 8-1 this season when its claims the doubles point.
“We played really great in doubles today,” Emery said. “Tennessee has only lost the doubles point once this season and that was to top-ranked Virginia in the National Indoors. So I am really happy about how we played in doubles.”
Kentucky received wins at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles to claim the doubles point. The doubles scoring started when senior Alberto Gonzalez and freshman Tom Jomby took down No. 55 Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren 8-6 to advance their record to 7-3, including a 2-0 mark in SEC play. The Wildcats secured the doubles point at No. 3 doubles when sophomore Anthony Rossi and junior Alex Musialek defeated No. 52 Ed Jones and Matteo Fago 8-4. Musialek and Rossi are now 4-2 this season at No. 3 doubles, including an impressive 3-0 mark in SEC meets. UK fell in a tiebreaker at No. 1 doubles as the top-ranked duo from Tennessee of John-Patrick Smith and Boris Conkic defeated UK junior Eric Quigley and senior Brad Cox 9-8 (3).
Kentucky and Tennessee went back and forth in singles action, especially at No. 1 singles where No. 5 Quigley and No. 13 Smith played a three-set thriller. The match started with Quigley taking the first set in a tiebreaker 7-1, while the two quality players went into an exciting and lengthy tiebreaker in the second set with Smith eventually winning 17-15. Smith would go on to win in the third set 6-4 and claim the match 6-7 (1), 7-6 (15), 6-4.
The Wildcats lone singles win came at No. 6 singles when Jomby made light work of Jones for Tennessee. The match started with Jomby posting a convincing 6-1 win in the first set and then clinched the match with a 7-5 win in the second set. The native of France is now 6-3 in singles play, with a 2-1 mark in SEC play.
“I am really proud of the way that Tom Jomby played today at No. 6 singles,” Emery said. “This was without question his best match here at Kentucky.”
Kentucky fell in straight sets at Nos. 2, 3 and 4 singles. The Vols began the singles scoring on court three when No. 35 Sandgren defeating Cox 6-3, 6-4, before No. 41 Fago took down No. 86 Gonzalez 6-4, 6-4. Tennessee grabbed its third point of the match at No. 2 singles when Williams, ranked third in the nation, won a hard-fought battle over No. 57 Musialek.
“Winning this match today would have put us in really good shape for the SEC title, but now we have to move forward,” Emery said. “We need to regroup and get ready for a perennial national power in Georgia on Sunday.”
The Wildcats will be in action again Sunday against No. 9 Georgia at 1 p.m. ET at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex. Live scores and a live blog will be available at UKathletics.com.
For more information on the Kentucky men’s tennis team, visit UKathletics.com or follow “University of Kentucky men’s tennis team” on Facebook.
No. 11 Kentucky 2, No. 3 Tennessee 4
Order of Finish: